News from The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Immediate: 11 April 2005  
For additional information contact: Staff Sergeant Barbara Haribson (609) 530-7088; or LTC Roberta Niedt (609) 530-6939  
State to Establish Veterans Mental Health Hotline  
  On Wednesday, April 13 2005 at 1:00pm, Major General Glenn K. Rieth, the Adjutant General of New Jersey and Colonel (ret) Steve Abel, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs joined together with John J. Petillo, PH.D., President, UMDNJ ( University of Medicine & Dentistry – New Jersey), and Christopher Kosseff, President & CEO. University Behavioral HealthCare (UMDNJ) to announce the creation of a new, mental health helpline for veterans returning in from service in Southwest Asia. The new toll free number will provider immediate assistance to veterans suffering from psychological or emotional distress as well as those having difficulty re-assimilating back into civilian life following the conclusion of their mobilization for active duty service.

The toll free helpline, which is accessible 24/7 by dialing 1-866 VETS-NJ 4 ( 1-866-838-7654) will be coordinated by UMDNJ’s University Behavioral HealthCare, and will feature peer counseling, clinical assessment, assistance to family members, and will provide New Jersey veterans and their families with access to a comprehensive Mental Health Provider Network of mental health professional specializing in PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other veterans issues. All services are free and confidential.

The event took place at the New Jersey National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters located at 3650 Saylor’s Pond on Fort Dix.

More than 4,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel from New Jersey have been mobilized since September 11, 2001 for service in Operations Iraqi Freedom of Enduring Freedom.